Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Filling out the census

Last week I got a letter from the Census Bureau warning me that they were going to send out a census form and urging me to fill it out and send it back.

Today the form came. I filled it out and put it out for the mailman. I felt a little queasy about answering the questions about race and ethnicity. For a moment I felt like declaring myself a member of the Hebrew race and describing Mr Charm as Hibernian, but at the last minute I couldn't bring myself to do it. Our family is part of the 1 percent of the American people who have to obey the law. Somebody in this great republic has to do it, and we have been chosen.

Otherwise the full majesty of the law is unleashed on us.

We're not like Tim Geithner who probably listed the family dog on his census form so wherever he comes from could show a larger population and deserve to have a new Congressional district handed to him.

Mr Charm and I only have one Congressperson anyway, and we're not likely to get another, being we live in Delaware. I personally would be willing to split my Congressperson with another small state. Half a Congress critter would be plenty for me. In fact, if this health insurance bill goes through without a vote I'd be quite willing to ditch the institution altogether.

Wait a minute! Didn't someone is U S history once make a fuss over Taxation without Representation? I believe it was some bunch of malcontents from Massachusetts or somewhere, but at present they are nothing but a group of dead white men, so nobody has to pay any attention to them.


airforcewife said...

I had the same misgivings about filling out the census form you did! And, like you, I did it anyway.

I have a little more trepidation about these things, though, because as a homeschooling family we tend to try and stay out of the notice of the government. We don't really want them bothering us.

HemmingsonsInMinnesota said...

To Whom it May Concern,
Pursuant to Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, the only information you are empowered to request is the total number of occupants at this address. My “name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, telephone number, relationship and housing tenure” have absolutely nothing to do with apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. Therefore, neither Congress nor the Census Bureau have the constitutional authority to make that information request a component of the enumeration outlined in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. In addition, I cannot be subject to a fine for basing my conduct on the Constitution because that document trumps laws passed by Congress.
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 479 (May 26, 1894)
“Neither branch of the legislative department [House of Representatives or Senate], still less any merely administrative body [such as the Census Bureau], established by congress, possesses, or can be invested with, a general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190. We said in Boyd v. U.S., 116 U. S. 616, 630, 6 Sup. Ct. 524,―and it cannot be too often repeated,―that the principles that embody the essence of constitutional liberty and security forbid all invasions on the part of government and its employees of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of his life.
As said by Mr. Justice Field in Re Pacific Ry. Commission, 32 Fed. 241, 250, ‘of all the rights of the citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security, and that involves, not merely protection of his person from assault, but exemption of his private affairs, books, and papers from inspection and scrutiny of others. Without the enjoyment of this right, all others would lose half their value.’”
Note: This United States Supreme Court case has never been overturned.
A Citizen of the United States of America

Anonymous said...

The Census letter sits on my counter. I can't bring myself to fill and send it out.
It's as if I, again, look at my Soviet passport with infamous "fifth line" ("Nationality: Jew").

I can't believe this is happening to me again.

miriam said...

It's scandalous. It's an affront.